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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

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vow, every day he would anew and voluntarily have
entered Into the engagement, which never ceased to
be his only bliss.     When the beloved wife was dan-
gerously ill In her first childbed, and the medical men
were fearful of the consequences, Humboldt believed
that  he  would not be able to endure life after the
terrible loss, and In his angLiish, gave as a reason for
his suicidal purpose, that he could not know whether
the beloved one might not stand in need of him in
the future life.     During the long years that his wife
lived with him on earth, and constituted his  greatest
happiness, this zeal continued in every circumstance
of life, to the complete negation and foEgetfulness of
self, sacrificing even privileges which would seem In-
separable from such an excess of love.     But he en-
joyed the happiness of knowing the tenderness of his
heart to be  reciprocated, and the  tenderness of his
own heart beamed upon him   clothed   In   feminine
grace.    Judging from some  letters  of Madame von
Humboldt., which have   been published,,  we  should
call her a romantic genius, as opposed to him whose
mind was Imbued by the spirit of the Ancients.    Her
education, nay, her erudition., not even her partiality
for intellectual pleasures and for art, could outweigh.
the eminently feminine qualities  of her soul.     She
had a particular partiality for paintings and for music.,
while   Humboldt,  in  other  respects   so   varied   and
artistic in his mental acquirements,  had no taste for
the peculiarly feminine art element, that of tone—in
which  he resembles  the  great  critic  Leasing.     The
feminine feature of his mind Is always concealed by
the strength  of his reason., so that It bears a manly
character.    His  wife speaks  of her  eldest daughter
once in a letter to Rkhel Levin, and concludes with
the very  characteristic  words:  " She has something
harsh and tender^ at the same time, in her character,
and, In this, resembles her father."    But the senti-
mentally tender element In Madame von Humboldt's
character appears In an appropriate feminine form,
still sufficiently modified to bear the stamp of sense